LNG This Week
RasGas Train 6 start-up imminent
RasGas’ 7.8 million tonnes per annum Train 6 will send its first cargo imminently while the company’s seventh train is on track for first production this year, an ExxonMobil executive said on Thursday.
“If we look at train RasGas the Train 6 its mechanical completion has been achieved and we expect first LNG to be imminent literally any day now,” ExxonMobil vice president David Rosenthal told an investor relations briefing for the firm’s Q2 results.
“As we progress through the rest of the year, the next train up of course is [Qatargas] Train 5. Commissioning is under way, mechanical completion has been achieved and we would expect start-up during the third quarter. By the end of the year, we would expect to see Train 7 up and therefore meeting our expectation of having all four of these very large trains up and running by the end of year,”
ExxonMobil’s Q2 profits fell $7.7bn year on year to $4bn, Rosenthal said. The company blamed sharp reduction in commodity prices and weaker demand for the results. (ICIS Heren)
Medgaz pipeline delayed – Gas Natural
Spain’s Gas Natural said on Wednesday that the Algeria-Spain Medgaz pipeline will not begin pumping gas until mid-2010 rather than at the start of the year. The comments came as the company announced its first-half results but were later directly disputed by Medgaz.
Commissioning shipments through the pipeline had been scheduled to start in summer 2009, with commercial cargoes set for the beginning of 2010. The board of Gas Natural made the comments without giving a specific reason for the delay.
Medgaz, however, told ICIS Heren it expected commissioning still to take place at the end of 2009, as originally forecast.
“We will not comment on the words of Mr. Villaseca,” said a company spokesperson from Medgaz in Spanish to ICIS Heren. When ready, the pipeline will be able to flow 8 billion cubic metres/year (Gm3/year) of gas. (ICIS Heren)
Centrica seals 14 cargoes for winter
Centrica has secured a further 14 cargoes of LNG for delivery to the UK up to the end of winter 2009/2010, the UK utility said in its results on Thursday.
The group has concluded agreements with seven counterparties from six countries, the company said.
In the first half, Centrica received seven cargoes from destinations including Qatar, Trinidad, Norway and Australia.
“The UK has become an increasingly attractive destination for LNG cargoes in the global economic downturn,” the utility said in its results statement. (ICIS Heren)
Total’s H1 LNG production drops
French oil & gas major Total’s equity LNG production in the first half fell 6% year-on-year to 4.22m tonnes, the group said in its first-half results on Friday.
The major attributed the fall to lower volumes from Nigeria LNG. LNG production in the second quarter fell 2% to 2.12m tonnes. (ICIS Heren)
Queensland projects boost
Australian utility Origin Energy and US major ConocoPhillips’ Australia Pacific coal seam gas to LNG (APLNG) project doubled its total Proved and Probable (2P) reserves on last year’s figures to 7,265 petajoules (PJ), Origin Energy said in a statement.
Proved, Probable and Possible (3P) reserves increased by 25% to 12,627PJ, Origin said.
Origin Energy managing director grant King said the increased estimate would support the group taking FID on the first phase of its LNG project by 2010.
In a separate development, Australian coal seam gas (CSG) company Arrow Energy announced its 2P gas reserves have been increased to 4,092 PJ, up 52% from the earlier estimation of 2,692 PJ made in June 2008, according to a statement to the Australian stock exchange (ASX) on Friday. (ICIS Heren)
Taiwan’s June LNG imports slip
Taiwan purchased 733,000 tonnes of LNG in June, the largest monthly purchase since the start of 2009, due to seasonal high demand in summer, statistics released by the Taiwanese Bureau of Energy showed.
The volume purchased in June was marginally higher than the 716,000 tonnes imported in May 2009. LNG June imports in 2009, however, were 8% lower than volumes purchased a year earlier due to weaker demand from the country’s power generation and city gas sectors.
Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia were its largest suppliers in the month, sending 305,000 tonnes, 178,000 tonnes and 123,000 tonnes respectively. Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea also sold 62,000 and 65,000 tonnes of LNG to the peninsular.
The average price paid for the super-cool gas in June 2009 was $457/tonne or $8.79/MMBtu, 47% lower than the amount paid in June 2008. (ICIS Heren)
Kogas explores upstream ventures
Korean import monopoly Kogas is looking to increase its energy security through a strategy which focuses on developing upstream ventures, trading, sharing expertise and exploring alternative energy sources, the state-run company said in a statement released on Tuesday.
The firm also announced its plans to invest more than won (W) 200bn/year ($161m) in upstream exploration and production ventures moving forward, alongside its intention to increase its presence and activities in the LNG swaps and trade markets.
Overall, it expects LNG demand in South Korea to increase 5.9%/year from 2008 to 2012. (ICIS Heren)
Nippon Oil denies terminal decision
Japan’s Nippon Oil Corp denied reports it was planning to build an LNG receiving terminal in Hokkaido, northern Japan, a company spokesperson said on Monday.
“We are currently conducting studies for all projects, and we have not decided on anything,” Rei Hioki said in response to an article in Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, which reported that the firm had plans to build an LNG receiving facility at an idle plant in Kushiro City.
According to Asahi, the receiving terminal may be operated in cooperation with Tokyo Gas at a cost of 10bn yen ($105m) and construction could commence as soon as the next fiscal year.
Osaka Gas denied the information provided by Asahi when contacted by ICIS Heren. A source from the LNG procurement team confirmed that no information or decisions have been made regarding the terminal. (ICIS Heren)
Japanese utilities cut demand forecasts
Utility firms in Japan have revised their projected gas and electricity sales volumes downwards for fiscal year (FY) 2009 in response to slack first-quarter demand, financial statements released by Tokyo Electric (TEPCO), Kansai Electric Power and Tokyo Gas revealed.
The expected slump in power demand from a milder winter, coupled with an anticipated slip in energy demand from industrial and domestic users were reasons cited for the downward correction of forecasted energy needs.
In a financial statement released on Friday, TEPCO reduced its projected full-year electricity sales volume for FY2009 to fall by 0.6% from 291.4TWh to 289.7TWh. Kansai Electric reduced its projected electricity sales volume for FY2009 by 3.1% to 141.7TWh from 146.3TWh.
Tokyo Gas also expected its total gas sales volumes for FY2009 to fall 0.6% on earlier projections to 12.9 billion cubic metres. (ICIS Heren)
Russia proposes LNG cooperation with GDF SUEZ
Russia is interested in cooperation with GDF SUEZ on LNG projects as well as other areas of energy sector, said Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, during a meeting with GDF SUEZ chairman Gerard Mestrallet in Moscow on Tuesday.
“GDF is our old reliable partner and one of the largest energy companies in Europe. We know about your level of competence in the area of LNG and are interested in the development of cooperation in this direction as well as other areas. This means transport [of gas]… this means electricity… this means development of renewable energy,” said Putin, according to a transcript of the meeting posted on the official website of Russian government. (ICIS Heren)
Interoil eyes 6tcf in Papua New Guinea gas reserves
Canadian E&P company Interoil announced the start of drilling at its Antelope -2 appraisal well on Monday.
InterOil increased its reserve estimate from the Elk and Antelope fields in Papua New Guinea to around 6 trillion cubic feet (tcf) (170Gm3), earlier this month.
“Third party work indicates a gas volume closer to 6tcf of gas or 1bn bbls of oil equivalent,” InterOil’s VP for investor relations Anesti Dermedgoglou told ICIS Heren earlier in July. (ICIS Heren)
Angola gas production begins
Chevron announced earlier this month that production from its offshore Mafumeira oil and gas field in Angola has started.
The company said it expects to be producing 30 million cubic feet/day (0.85 million m3) of associated gas from Block 0 of the field by 2011. This gas is slated to be piped to the 5.2 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) onshore Angola LNG export train that is due to come online in 2012.
Angola LNG is operated by Chevron (36.4%), state company Sonangol (22.8%) and BP, Total and Eni (with 13.6% each). (ICIS Heren)
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